Letters to the Editor
Letters to the
NPS releases Final Environmental Impact
How can you possibly thing it's OK/fair to ban
night beach driving. Or did I read this incorrectly?
This whole thing is absolutely insane, but the most insane part is
closing Ramp 23. Can someone please explain why this is necessary?
Other than the Point, this is probably the most used access on the
Thank you for reporting so promptly and with a good basic synopsis of
the pertinent information that many of us are so concerned with. I am a
bit disappointed at this initial stage about informing ourselves of the
content. A lot of reading to do. Looks like we have more work to do.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us got paid to read all this? We just get
to pay our taxes to support the bureaucracy bringing this upon us and
then get to donate our time and money to fight it in an attempt to
prevent the taking of our rights and privileges from us. Doesn't make
sense to us. Maybe it does to others. Please look us in the eye and
tell us what it is that we don't understand.
Beach, Va., and
Kill Devil Hills
Every time I look at the latch-hook rendering of the Outer Banks that
my wife finally completed a few years ago, I think back to all of the
great times we had there, especially on Ocracoke, over the 30 years of
our marriage. Even as the area changed over the years (more
people with fancier tastes), we would continue to return. We
haven't been back since the consent decree took effect and it looks
like we never will. All I can say is "Good Luck" to the
as, one by one, their businesses and livelihoods fail because of the
drop in tourism. I will always remember when.
Let's not mince words. Alternative F violates the charter that created
Mike Murray should be put in jail and the so called "National Park
Service" should be disbanded for this conversion of public parkland
into a special interest refuge.
How can be allowed to happen in a democratic society?
If I am understanding these regulations correctly, drum season is no
more! Nighttime is the best fishing for these fish due to the fact they
do not like light. Why could we not have a permit to drive at night
after an educational course? If it is because of the turtles, there are
alternatives that could be implemented within common reasoning that
would surely make the rest of the plan a lot easier to swallow,
which everyone involved could live with.
Being that Hatteras and its sister islands are know the world over for
its large drum and the only place to catch them consistently. As an
avid fisherman and conservationist, I see no reason why this
modification would not be a great help in keeping the public relations
between the parties involved and the respect of each other as well as
the protection of the beach in tact.
No driving 9 p.m. until 7 p.m.? If my vehicle is on the beach after 9
p.m., and I plan to fish through the night and not drive, am I legal?
I fish here six to nine months a year and support permits so long as
the cost is reasonable. We hope that the education procedures
will be in writing on the issued permit just like the night beach
The North Carolina state park people have stopped night driving on Fort
Fischer Beach, and now the NPS is doing the same with the OBX? You
folks really do believe you are the kings, and we the taxpayers are the
serfs. A revolution is coming!
Sounds a lot like the Obamacare bill -- lots of pages and of things
that may be construed in different ways. There’s got to be a simpler
solution with more input from the fishing community and not cow towing
to the enviros
You are dealing with the future recreational fishing in the prime
fishing area on the East Coast. Why can't we all get along?
What about access for the handicapped or disabled folks, such as
myself? Does this mean if you’re not physically able or fit enough,
you’re out of luck. Unless I missed something, it didn't say anything
about that group of beach lovers, fisherpeople, shellers, etc. Our
society has made special laws to provide accessibility to the above
mentioned part of our society. What provisions have the powers that be
made for the handicapped or physically challenged so we to can enjoy
prime areas of our recreational areas of the beach? Last year I had to
sit in my truck and watch as people more fortunate than I physically
walked to the better areas to fish or hunt for shells. The result was
they caught fish and found shells while I sat in my truck. Thank you
for your help in this matter, as it will make a difference on whether I
plan to return to Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I might add in
closing, what a waste of such a wonderful resource that exists nowhere
Nice to see you are keeping up on this. How did you hear about it? I am
a regular visitor to islandfreepress.org and have been "sort of"
following this plan for a while. Basically, the redneck locals want
unlimited access and the environmentalists want to eliminate all beach
driving. Being the moderate that I am, I think there can be a
compromise in the middle. The main problem is that 20 years ago there
weren't very many vehicles driving on the beach, and there was much
less environmental impact. Now, Hatteras Island is so crowded it can't
sustain the open access policy that has been in place for decades.
It's funny hearing the locals complain about the NPS and their
restrictions. If the locals weren't such greedy, money-hungry idiots,
the Outer Banks would still be the awesome place that it used to be.
Instead, they've completely sold out to the developers and the Outer
Banks are now littered with these huge mansions that house 10 families
(and 10 SUVs each) -- and all of them want to drive on the beach.
It's a shame really. Progress is good in some respects, but I still
wish the OBX was like it was 20 years ago.
This is plain and simple confiscation of our rights and more broken
promises by the government. I was hoping not to see this day --- but
now I want to live long enough to see the day when this
"environmentally sensitive" gem of an island suddenly becomes more
valuable to us as a natural resource ---- for fossil fuel.
I will see the bird and turtle advocates go down kicking and screaming
-- with the boot in their faces. This is an interim move allowing
corrupt judges to line the pockets of their immoral fraternity brothers
-- and no doubt their own as well.
Ranger Rick and Smokey the Bear have become the Legacy of Darkness. In
the name of protecting wildlife, they have us groveling for a slight
access here and there, while gassing thousands of Canada geese and
slaughtering mammals on behalf of a non-native bird.
For those of you who believe that this has anything to do with
conservation --- bless you children. The rest of us will just fall in
line with the other sheep.
After 39 years of wonderful memories of fishing at Hatteras with
friends, I'm sorry to hear that this last October, 2010 visit may be
the last thanks to the NPS’ latest decree. By the way, when
beachfront houseowners have their property lines extend to the ocean,
except when the ocean is under their houses?
As a property owner and avid sportsman, I am more and more
disillusioned by the government that is supposed to work for us and our
better interests. You are doing just the opposite by taking away our
rights one at a time. I used to think that trying to preserve our
natural resources was the thing to do. I and everyone I know and have
ever talked to had the same train of thought. Now I think we are better
off being without the nature we tried so hard to protect. I will tell
you right now that if I ever see a certain species of wildlife in
trouble, I will do whatever I can to promote its demise.
Our family has vacationed in Ocracoke every summer for the past 30
years. For the first time, last summer's trip was not enjoyable due to
the closing of the North Point and other areas. This caused
overcrowding at the open beaches and a hike to access them. We may no
longer travel to the Outer Banks because of this ridiculous issue.
Close off Pea Island and leave the others alone.
Here come catch
shares: How NOAA and the Environmental Defense Fund plan to destroy
North Carolina’s working watermen
Thank you for publishing this enlightening and informative article, as
well as for providing the contact information for our elected
Great. This is the fishing version of cap and trade. 2012 can't come
I've been fighting at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to
change Bering Sea Crab Rationalization, which privatized the crab
fisheries. We have asked repeatedly to allocate shares to
so they might receive fair and equitable compensation for their labors,
but they have turned a deaf ear on us.
The Bering Sea Crab Rationalization Program was a fašade to improve
safety and biological need so that LLP owners could be gifted over $1
billion in quota share for Bering Sea crabs. Plus the ability to
override U.S. antitrust laws so that seafood processors could control
the right to process 90 percent of the Bering Sea crab
Crab Ratz was pushed by Alaska Crab Coalition, North Pacific Crab
Association, Ben Stevens, Trevor McCabe, and others who inspired
ex-senator Ted Stevens’ appropriations pen to be the letter of the law.
Jim Stone wrote in his op-ed piece (in October, 2010 Pacific
Fishing magazine) that after five years, Bering Sea (BS) crab catch
shares are a keeper. I guess if you were one of 50-60 fish
magnates who received millions of dollars in BS quota and who charges
50-80 percent leases on the crab quotas fished, you’d be wanting to
keep your million-dollar portfolio multiplying at the expense of
ripping off the crew and vessel owners from making fair and equitable
Let’s get one thing straight. A fishermen prepares his boat, goes to
sea, makes his catch, and returns to sell his product. I have
been actually fishing for 32 years, since I was 14 years old.
I’ve fished for salmon, halibut, cod, and crabs from the end of the
Aleutians to St. Mathews Island, Bering Sea to the Gulf of
Alaska. I have 24 years experience fishing the Bering Sea for
crab on deck and in the wheelhouse.
I don’t count owning a vessel and sitting at home as an investor as
being a fisherman. Apparently, Mr. Stone and many like him, act like
they been out fishing for 32 years at sea. I could use many
expletives to call him out, but we all know he’s not telling the
truth. This is explains why he doesn’t tell the truth about
crewmen not being paid fair, safety not being improved, the future
biological problems and that it would have been easy to just put a 100
pot limit or less into regulation without costing the taxpayers of
America millions of dollars to build this most cumbersome program that
only benefits him and his 50 fish magnates.
Let’s start with the root of the problem -- too many boats chasing too
little crab. In the mid-1980s as the crab vessel owners
Alaska halibut and sablefish fisheries being privatized, many of them
knew it would be a race for history for crab next. Many crab
owners went to the Gulf of Mexico and bought mud-boats with 5 percent
loans from the U.S. government so that they would have two vessels
racing to catch crab andso when histories were used to convert into
quota, they would increase their future portfolios. This is about the
same time that proposed pot limits were discussed at the Alaska Board
of Fisheries meetings. The lobby to gain higher pot limits
larger vessels prevailed, so smaller vessels were disadvantaged and had
less of a chance to catch as much crab.
Stone goes on about boats going potentially bankrupt, but isn’t that
the natural progression of business -- some make it and some
don’t? It’s not the job of the U.S. government to bail out
fishermen who make bad investments. There was nothing of
protect, so why let 50-60 guys get rich at the expense of U.S.
fishermen and the taxpayer?
Thanks for this great article and for telling us what this really
means. I live in Florida, and this is already affecting my
Will be reaching out to my reps.
Thank you, Ernie, for such a very informative article on yet another
way governmental agencies are trying to dictate how we earn a living in
the fishing industry and how devastating this new program would be for
North Carolina and, certainly, our local fishermen here on Hatteras
Island. When will this needless influx of dictation by the government
end? We need to speak up and say "NO MORE" and make sure this does not
Out here on the West Coast, I have watched the catch shares program
developed by ED.
I think the fishing community needs to create a way to document the way
this program is manipulating the stakeholder process and eroding the
fishery management process.
My first hand experience is that you cannot work with people that are
Out here on the West Coast, there is no support for catch shares from
the fishing ports.
We need to advance and alternative theory.
I say that conservation and stewardship are products of people who
apply a merit system to democracy and good deeds in your fishing
Somehow, this must be stopped. NOAA, NMFS, EDF are a bunch of control
freaks. They seem to want to stop all fishing at some point in time.
This is just a beginning. Catch shares are just the tip of the iceberg.
It sure will not stop there, once they get it going. All fishermen need
to unite fast on this one or all will lose. It’s not a commercial,
charter, recreational thing. It involves us all!
Great column, Ernie. Anyone reading this who likes to fish or
even go to the coast and enjoy all the things that go with fishing
(good restaurants, quiet motels, beach access, nice people, and the
list goes on) needs to wake up and get involved. North
and Massachusetts are not going to defeat this catch share program
alone. We need help from every coastal state and anyone who likes to
visit the coast. You must write, call, or e-mail your
and representatives and tell them you are opposed to catch shares.
Mr. Foster's summary of catch shares confirms almost everything I have
heard and know about them. I own and operate a snapper/grouper fishing
business. I have spoken with the Environmental Defense Fund several
times about the issues facing our fishery. I explained how the lack of
Trip Poundage Limits (TPLs) to wisely manage the low quotas created
derby fisheries. The derby fisheries force fishermen to catch as many
fish as we can as quickly as we can before the quota is filled. One
species after another is made illegal to sell when the quota is met and
that fishery is closed. This creates by-catch that must be discarded,
dead or alive, and takes your freedom to eat those fish. Many of the
discarded fish die slowly from decompression damage, stress, and
infection. This also forces fishermen to stay at sea longer and in
worse weather to catch enough legal fish to pay the bills. All of this
drastically cuts our income and greatly increases our chances of injury
I asked EDF to stand with commercial fishermen to demand the South
Atlantic Fishery Management Council use Trip Poundage Limits to wisely
manage the low quotas. The TPLs would allow fishermen to catch some of
each species throughout the entire year. This would give the consumer a
dependable supply of safe American seafood, almost eliminate by-catch,
and help fishermen survive the rebuilding process. I thought EDF was
just blissfully ignorant of the unintended consequences the lack of
TPLs caused. They told me that EDF wanted catch shares and would not
support TPLs even though they would have many of the same benefits. EDF
claims to want from catch shares. I even told them that I was willing
to work with them on catch shares. The TPLs could be put in place today
and the catch share scam will take years to fully implement.
They still refused and their blissful ignorance turned to
malicious intent to create by-catch, financially ruin fishermen, and
hurt our families in order to get us to accept catch shares. They do
not have the best interest of the fish, fishermen, or consumers in
mind. They seem to only have their money and intoxicating power to rule
their fellow man in mind. Please check out my website to learn more
about what is happening and what you can do to help
--www.freefish7.com. Please remember that this is not just our freedom
to responsibly harvest this great nation's resources, it is your
freedom to access safe American seafood or even take your kids fishing
in the future. If anyone at EDF reads this, you know how to contact me,
and I am still willing to be part of the catch share discussion if you
will support TPLs in the mean time.
I am a recreational fisherman and own a home in Morehead
am opposed to catch shares and believe all individuals should have the
right to enjoy our natural resource as we have in the past without
significant government restrictions on users. I do believe in
conservation and protection of the resource, but not the restriction as
the catch shares outline.
What fish will catch shares affect? Are you suggesting that all species
of fish and shellfish will eventually be covered by this and, if so,
The entire concept of catch shares is shocking! We spend 2-3
vacations at Hatteras, fish recreationally, on the headboat, and the
charter boats. The life and work these captains of the boats
is hard enough as it is. The government needs to stay out of
Let life go on as it has for generations for the wonderful Hatterasmen.
As a small boat inshore gillnetter, I have seen first hand what this
insane policy has done to the fisherman of my city. This time of year,
the fleet of boats would be steaming to the grounds for a day of
fishing. You would see 40-50 stern lights from the shore. Now, you see
two or three. What catch shares has done is destroy a way of life in my
city. For the first time in my life, I had to buy fish to keep going.
This is madness!
I support the fight against catch shares.
Catch shares sound like all programs dreamed up by people with only a
periphery connection, if that, with the activity affected --
misinformed, misguided, and outrageous.
Highlight of the season will be ‘Nights in
holiday open house
We love Hatteras and spend a lot
there. We, too, love the people there. So glad you are doing something
for the Cancer Foundation. Wish we were there for the tour, but my
husband is in the hospital in Boston. I hope and pray that you will get
a good turnout. You're doing a "good thing"
Island Living: In defense of a world without
I really enjoy your
writing. You have
great style! I think you'll go far.
is open on proposed public boating access at Hatteras
Great idea for a public ramp and dock. I've been coming to the
Outer Banks for 35 years and either have to rent a dock or pay daily
ramp fees for my boat. This proposal would be welcome relief from the
daily expense and loading and unloading in a marina. Go for
John L. Mark
relationships on the islands: A survivors’ guide
Love it, Joy! Keep them coming. It may keep you out of trouble this
quality of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake harbor is underway
Thanks to Pat Garber for writing this good report about the water
testing in Silver Lake Harbor. I wish that I could volunteer with this
effort. I am grateful to all who are involved. Please keep us informed.
villages will be voting on mixed drinks on Dec. 7
Vote no. Liquor is too strong. If a drunk driver wanders from his or
her lane on Highway 12, it's a head-on collision! That’s unlike other
parts of America where there are two, three, four, or five lanes, and
it's a sideswipe.
Hatteras with the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore
Hi my name is Audra. I'm under my mom’s e-mail because I'm 10! So when
Jim Cantore was in Hatteras, it was Monday, July 13, which was my
birthday. And, well, Jim Cantore is one of my idols, and I want to be a
meteorologist just like him. It's my dream to meet him -- if only it
would someday come true!!!!
responds to tone of 2010 election
The impact of election 2010 goes
than which party controls the House or the Senate. The
and tone of the 2010 campaign reached a disturbingly new low in
American politics. Not only was this evident in the
but we also saw it in candidate debates and forums and in the public
discourse. Voters were overwhelmed by the millions of dollars
negative ads but didn’t know who paid for many of them.
This election demonstrated the critical need to improve our
governmental structures. Because of the failure of Congress
act, there are no disclosure requirements governing the huge amounts of
money that the Supreme Court recently turned loose in American
politics. Voters don’t know if their elected officials are in
Washington to serve the public interest or the special
Congress must pass the Disclose Act, which would restore transparency
to U.S. elections by requiring disclosure of corporate and union
spending in candidate elections.
Voters, not money, should be the center of our democracy. The
challenges we face together in our towns and in our nation, will
require our continued vigilance. As a leader of the Dare
League of Women Voters, I work year-round to safeguard democracy and
improve civility at all levels of government. As the League’s
work continues, I invite others in the community to commit to civic
improvement by joining the League. Together we can keep our
community strong, healthy, and vibrant.
Women Voters of
First, I wanted to tell you that I
publication so much and immediately open it as soon as it shows in my
inbox. Thank you for what you do! It makes me feel connected to my
beach community and friends during the off-season. My family celebrated
our 25th summer on Ocracoke this year!
New Letters to the
runaway dredge tore a hole in the Bonner Bridge, and islanders and
visitors relied on temporary ferries for months
years ago, I was sales manager at Courtesy Ford-Moyock and living in
Currituck. We had a cottage rental on Ocracoke and didn't
NCDOT would be able to reconnect the islands in time for us.
left Moyock on faith and, lo and behold, with time spent waiting at the
docks, made it all the way down thanks to everybody pitching in to make
life bearable for island folk and visitors alike.
Fast forward 20 years, and we're now looking at moving back permanently
to Hatteras (at last!).
Thanks for the memories with more sure to come!
were there taking a leisurely vacation on Hatteras Island. We
went to dinner in Nags Head and saw the same sight ( the barge very
close to the bridge) at about 10:30 p.m. when we were returning to
Avon. Then, in the early a.m., we heard the news.
48 hours on the road evacuating via Ocracoke. We'll NEVER
it. It was survival of the fittest.
wife and her sister’s family came down in three cars in a five-hour
trip from Arlington, Va. It was another four hours before our car got
onto the ferry, and we were told we would be the last until the wind
calmed. What a ride! It did take an hour. The ferry taking a switchback
route to the other side made the journey surprisingly long. Once we got
back onto Highway 12, we, and everyone else, drove pell-mell down the
road. We started dinner once we reached the rental in Salvo after
debating on what to do about everyone else not being there. As it
turned out, they showed up just as the T-bone steaks and baked potatoes
came out of the oven. Unforgettably, the best first night’s supper of
was pregnant and caught off the island visiting my brother in
D.C. I had to come home through Swan Quarter and Ocracoke.
the ferry to various doctor’s appointments made for an interesting
accurate resume except for the worker who died in the course of
building the ramp at Oregon Inlet.
romantic couple are the first to wed at the newly relocated and
friend of the family, I thought it was truly pleasurable to witness the
happiness of Brian and Paula on their special day. It was truly a
beautiful experience. The island was breathtaking, the atmosphere was
joyful, the couple's attire very elegant. It was a day that will surely
go down as a memorable event to both the bride and groom and their
was able to be a guest at the wedding of Paula and Brian Jones, and I
can only say that it was the most romantic wedding I have been to in a
long time. It was also my first visit to the Outer Banks, and I want to
say what a wonderful time I had. Everyone I met and
went, I felt as if I had been there before and was returning to old
friends. I see in the future many more trips there. Everyone should
take a visit to the Inn at Rodanthe and see what the new owners have
done to it. It was not only gorgeous, but warm and friendly also. I
can't say enough about my trip there. Thank you for a wonderful -- but
too short -- vacation.
wedding was so beautiful, and Brian and Paula are a beautiful couple
with a dream of love and happiness. Thank you for making our first
wedding at Serendipity a wonderful event for us all. Thank
Bonnie Rowe with Vacation Traditions for helping the couple with all
the arrangements. Also, thank you, Don Bowers, for such wonderful
coverage and the beautiful pictures, even though you were battling a
kidney stone. And, Irene Nolan, we love you and hope you also feel
a beautiful wedding. The setting was absolutely perfect. Thank you for
sharing your day. We love Cape Hatteras!
is so exciting to see online. I stayed in Avon with my sister
brother-in-law the week of Oct. 17, and when we left on Saturday, the
day of the wedding, we stopped to see the new location of the
house. We were in Avon last year at the same time and also
visited the house before it was moved. We were there when the
tide was coming in that day, and it was amazing how far the surf was
coming in under the house. Their were several surfers that
out in front of the house, and some had actually put their boards up
under the back of the house where it looked like there was a storage
area at one time. My sister laughed at me when I looked up at
house only to imagine Richard standing on the porch. It is so
great that the new owners took on the great adventure of saving this
beautiful place. I can only imagine what it must look like
inside. I took several pictures of the house and the wedding
flowers on the front of the house and thought what a beautiful place to
have such a romantic time. Maybe someday I can afford a week
this beautiful place. Thank you for sharing the pictures and
loved reading about the wedding and seeing all the photos. I
so happy for the couple. They look so much in love. I, too,
the book saw the movie numerous times and even own the DVD!
vacation twice a year in Rodanthe. We watched the house being moved and
everything that was going on with the renovations. We checked
the new location when we were down in August and hope to have a chance
to stay there some day.
Island and Swan Quarter ferry runs maybe limited for several days
couple of comments on story. Although the comments are on information
apparently provided by others.
first new ferry, approved Oct. 1, 2009, by the Board of Transportation,
will cost $13 million and is federally funded, Wallace said. The second
one was approved Oct. 4 for $14.9 million, and was made possible
through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds."
funds are also federal funds, so I'm not sure I see the distinction to
be made here other than political points.
a final United States budget for fiscal year 2010-2011, which began
Oct. 1, has not yet been passed, dredging is funded under a “continuing
resolution” of the U.S. Senate, enabling government services to
continue while the new budget is hammered out, Schmitt said."
continuing resolution is actually passed by both Houses of Congress,
rather than just the Senate. In fact, I believe a financial bill, such
as a continuing resolution must originate in the House of
a couple of tidbits towards greater accuracy.
talk about emergency plan in case bridge fails again
First, I sincerely pray that my family and I are not crossing the
bridge when it falls down. Maybe they ought to put an
plan in place for such a disaster as that. Second, why don't
charge a bridge toll to help pay for a new bridge? Coming
New Jersey and having to cross the Delaware River to get anywhere, we
have to pay at least a $4 bridge toll. We pay tolls
think people would be willing to help, so that they would be safe.
Bodie Island spit owned by the Park Service -- or not?
is very interesting. My family has fished Oregon Inlet for forty-plus
years and, yes, there has been a lot of change, but a deed is a deed.
If the land and markers still exist, the families still own it. I just
hope they continue to let us enjoy it.
O’Neal, fisherman and chef, and his family work to
the article about Vince O'Neal. I'm proud that he and his
still are keeping up the heritage of his family with their local
mother was born in Ocracoke and was an O'Neal. She loved her
Ocracoke, and we made many visits there. Matter of fact, I
stewed drum and potatoes last night.
Keep up the good work, Island Free Press.
an executive chef with roots in Coastal North Carolina and now cooking
in the Midwest, I thank you so much for the simple, good recipe that we
so enjoyed at the PONY. Now I can replicate it with fresh Lake Erie
fish! Part of the reason we love the Outer Banks so much is families
like the O'Neals. Thanks and keep on cookin'!
Island Real Estate: What’s going on with lenders?
agree that local lenders are your best bet. It was the only
for us to get a loan on a property we wanted. Big banks just
wouldn't lend on the property.
village shipwreck appears and disappears with the shifting sands
believe it is even more exposed now then in spring of 2009. I have
update pictures that were taken Oct. 27. They are on my Facebook page.
I would love to share them with you.
Mr. Bob, an Ocracoke pony
is with great delight I found the article and pictures of "Old
Bob." We discovered the OBX about 30 years ago. Our children
delighted in spending sometime each summer "going home" as we loving
referred to it. We dearly love the OBX and love reading about
it. It sure has changed in our 30 years. I can just imagine
it used to be before it became a popular tourist stop. Thank
for sharing your memories with us Yankees -- I guess we are.
Whatever, we dearly love it there and the people. God bless
all and RIP dear Old Bob. The ponies are one of our favorite
stops when we come down. No doubt we have seen Old Bob on one
our trips. Thanks again.
Harvesters plan comes together: First a farmers market, now a
a fabulous accomplishment for a New York City girl!